Football Blog

2017-18 Week 10: Contenders Await Playoff Seeds

Rick : February 15, 2018 5:39 am : Football

The dog days of the season will suddenly become the stretch run Saturday, when pairings, fueled by the ratings system associated with Max Preps, will be announced by the San Diego Section.

Foothills Christian appears to have a lock on the regular-season Top 10 ratings, which will be announced next week.

The Knights, with St. Augustine transfer Taeshon Cherry averaging 22.6 points and 11.7 rebounds, will be shooting for the local top seed and, down the road, a berth in the state Open Division playoffs.

Foothills, No. 1 in San Diego, followed by Torrey Pines and Mission Bay, remained No. 9 and Mission Bay 12th in the weekly Cal-Hi Sports rankings.  Torrey Pines finally got into the mix at No. 20.

La Jolla Country Day is 16th in Cal-Hi’s Girls ratings.  Mount Miguel and Mission Hills are on the bubble.

I vote for Torrey Pines every week as No. 1.  The Falcons are hamstrung by a 69-68 loss to St. Augustine and 74-73 defeat to Brighton of Salt Lake City, Utah, in their Christmas tournament.

Torrey Pines coach John Olive, in his 21st season of repeated success, missed both of the losses with a bout of the flu.  Olive’s club continues to dominate the Avocado League.

The Falcons beat Sage Creek, 65-40, on Valentine’s Day and have won their last 52 league games.  They finish the regular season Friday night against La Costa Canyon, a 69-50 loser to the Falcons in the first round.


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1958-59: Potentially Outstanding Season Falls Short

Rick : February 9, 2018 11:40 am : Football

Forfeits, ineligibles, and nuptials.

Three words that sum up a season filled with hot shooting, high scores, and dramatic finishes but ended with flat, early exits for San Diego schools in their next-to-last year in the Southern Section playoffs.

–San Diego High, 24-2 on the floor, was 8-18 legislatively after forfeiting 16 victories because of an overage starting player.   CIF Southern Section rules state that an athlete cannot turn 19 years of age before Sept. 1 of his senior year.  Forward Otha Phillips, a strong defender who had scored 140 points in 18 games, passed his 19th birthday in May.

The Cavers in a happier momwent, celebrating 62-49 Kiwanis Tournament championship over Beverly Hills. Otterstad was surrounded by (from left): Richard Flanery, Otha Phillips, Willie Bolton, Arthur (Hambone) Williams, and Ezell Singleton.

The CIF had lowered the eligibility rule from age 20 to 19 in 1939.

–There was no forfeit, but Hoover lost starting forward Ron Crosby for several games during the season because of classroom grades (and starting center Harry Stadnyk for several games from a knee injury). St. Augustine lost three Eastern League games because of ineligible Sal Villanueva. Other players throughout the area were sidelined after unsuccessful stints with the books.

–Sweetwater’s Wayne Sevier, a three-sport star, quarterback of the Red Devils’ football team, and a starting forward for coach Wells Gorman’s basketball squad, was declared ineligible because he had gotten married and had to leave school.

The Cavers-dominated all-City team, led by player of the year Arthur (Hambone)Williams (top). Others (clockwise from second row), Richard Flanery, San Diego; Ezell Singleton, San Diego, Bill Cravens, Mission Bay, and Wayne Britt, Hoover.

–Lincoln was sidetracked when the question of reserve forward T.R. Lowery’s age surfaced two days before a first-round playoff.


This was one of the most egregious of all the bookkeeping and clerical errors that had short-circuited teams over the years.  It robbed the Cavemen of a chance to compete in the playoffs in a season in which coach Dick Otterstad’s club had taken its place among the best in school history and had performed at a higher level than expected.

Cavers officials quickly owned up.

Vice-principal Bill Bailey was seen walking through a deserted parking lot south of the            Spreckles Building on Tuesday morning Jan. 27, 1959, heading toward the Union-Tribune building at 919 Second Avenue.

A bystander spotted Bailey and wondered why the VP of the high school would be visiting the newspaper office at this time of day on a school day.  Bailey soon demonstrated why, delivering the news to Evening Tribune high school beat writer Paul Cour.

“The ineligibility was brought to our attention by another school,” Bailey told Cour, declining to name the informant.  Bailey said failure to note Phillips’ ineligibility “was an oversight on our part.”

Principal Lawrence Carr apologized for the error in a statement released that morning and said Phillips’ “correct age has been listed on our eligibility sheets sent by us during the season to all of our opponents.”

No one noticed for 18 games.

Bailey said an eligibility report is filed with each school before a game is played.  Each report lists a player’s birthdate, birthplace, and academic standing, according to Bailey.

Phillips, a senior competing for the first year, did not realize that he was too old to compete, said Carr.


Otterstad was stunned and became ill when the word came down.  He excused himself from a coaches’ planning meeting at school and retreated to the men’s room.

The coach and his bosses appealed to CIF commissioner Ken Fagans, hoping San Diego could be a candidate for the playoffs as an at-large team.

If there was an opening in the 32-team playoff bracket, a very slim possibility, Fagans said he would give the Cavers consideration.

Five weeks later, after several telephone calls between Caver officials and the CIF, the San Diego plea was denied by the Southern Section’s executive committee.


Stadnyk (25) and Crosby (23) were lost to Cardinals not long after battling Willie Bolton (left) and San Diego.

Otterstad said that he called the vice-principal of the school that reported the Philips glitch and, while expressing disappointment, held no rancor toward the rival.

The Cavers’ coach also revealed that he had been approached by Compton coach Bill Armstrong, whose Tarbabes would be the Cardinals’ opponent in the second round of the playoffs.

Armstrong wanted Otterstad to impart any knowledge acquired in San Diego’s two victories over the Redbirds.

“I told him that Hoover was in our league and that I wouldn’t do that,” Otterstad revealed to Jerry Magee of The San Diego Union.


City League coaches, though profiting from the Cavers’ malfeasance, sympathized.

“It’s an unfortunate thing for the boy himself and others on the squad,” said Lincoln’s Don Smith.  “We’re interested in the best team representing our league in the playoffs.”

Smith went on to say that coaches would be more attentive to “checking the eligibility lists in the future.”   A month later the Lincoln mentor was forced to deal with the possibility of T.R. Lowery’s being too old.

Lincoln scrambled and found proof that Lowery was clear to play, but the Hornets, the hottest team in the City in the last month other than San Diego, never hit their stride in a 50-48 loss to Compton Centennial on the Hoover floor.

“That’s not the way we like to win games,” said Hoover’s Charlie Hampton.  “What a tough break for Dick…his ball club wasn’t expected to do much this year, but it came along and now this happens.”

Hilbert Crosthwaite of Point Loma noted that “last year Dick had another (tough break) when Chula Vista knocked his great ball club out of the playoffs.”

Mission Bay’s Paul Beck said, “I sure hate to see this happen but we’re back in the race and will be trying all the way.”


San Diego’s Arthur (Hambone) Williams didn’t score in a 63-44 victory over Santa Monica, then had 24 in a 57-51, semifinals win over Lincoln and 28 (including 10 consecutive free throws) in the championship-game, 62-49 triumph over Beverly Hills.  The Cavers became the first team to win the title three times.

Steve (11) and Toby (22) Thurlow led Escondido’s emergence

Only three outside clubs, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Manhattan Beach Mira Costa, entered the 12th annual tournament, composed of two, 16-team brackets, Unlimited and Limited.  Escondido was in the Unlimited Division the first time and new schools University and Clairemont made their first appearances in the Limited Division.

San Diego’s victory signaled that the Cavers, despite losing their two highest scorers, Artist Gilbert and Edward Lee Johnson, from the 23-3 team of 1957-58, had reloaded instead of rebuilding.  Hambone Williams, one of the County’s all-time great players, would go on to a career in the NBA with the San Diego Rockets and Boston Celtics.


Hoover, led by southpaw Wayne Britt’s 23 points,  connected on 17 of 22 field goal attempts in the first half to lead, 37-18, and was 30×49 for 61 per cent for the game in an 80-64 win over a Mira Costa team that was 9-0,  a tournament favorite, and shot well enough, 25×53, 47 per cent, to win most games.

Mustangs coach Dean Sempert was so frustrated that, according to witnesses, encouraged his team to get tough with the lean, physically unimposing Cardinals. Hoover coach Charlie Hampton walked to the Mustangs’ bench in the second half and wondered when Sempert was going to “quit the roughhouse play.”

Hoover was knocked out in the semifinal round by Beverly Hills, 66-64, as the Normans qualified for the finals for the fourth time in five years.


Bill Foley. whose jump shot mirrored that of St. Augustine’s 1956-58 star Tom Shaules, hit key basket to keep Chula Vista in game wiith Sweetwater.

Chula Vista, a regular at this post-Christmas event, defeated Newhall Hart, 39-37, for the championship after building a 19-5 first-quarter lead.  The Spartans also topped Chino, 58-45, Placentia Valencia, 64-17, and Ontario Chaffey, 56-52.

Escondido opened with a 61-37 victory over Desert as Steve Thurlow had 11 field goals and 22 points and brother Toby had 11 free throws and 21 points.  The Cougars also topped Upland, 67-50, but lost to Hart in the semifinals, 64-59, and to Chaffey, 80-69, in the third-place game.

Mar Vista was beaten by Buena Park, 42-40, in the consolation finals.


San Dieguito, which defeated Mar Vista, 36-30, for the Kiwanis Limited title, was beaten by host Banning, 34-29, in the finals of the Riverside county school’s tournament.  The Mustangs got to the finals by eliminating San Jacinto, 46-30, and Palm Springs, 47-41.


Helix had a short stay in Ventura County, bowing to the host Fillmore Flashes, 43-37, and to Santa Paula, 57-50.


“Chula Vista shaded Sweetwater, 41-38, in Chula Vista Recreation Center last night in a double-overtime Metro League basketball game that had more false finishes than a Pearl White* movie.

“A medium-range jump shot by Fred Olmsted with 1:01 remaining settled it before a turnaway crowd of some 1,600.  Officials said at least that many more were turned away after the doors were locked an hour and a half before tipoff.”

Fred Olmsted, shooting against El Cajon Valley, scored winning points in memorable game versus Sweetwater.

Jerry Magee of The San Diego Union wrote those words in describing one of the most exciting games ever played south of the San Diego city limits.

Olmsted supplied the winning points, but a reserve guard who did not score a point saved the Spartans from certain defeat.

Sweetwater led, 38-36, with four seconds left in the first overtime and had possession of the ball at midcourt, but “whippet-fast” Billy Ellis stole the inbounded ball and fired a perfect pass to Phil Lind, who scored the tying points from under the Sweetwater basket.

Chula Vista had taken a 34-32 lead on Bill Foley’s jump shot with a little more than a minute to play in the fourth quarter, but the Red Devils’ George Spicer forced the overtime when he drained a long jumper from behind the foul circle.

Olmsted, whose free throw with one second to play delivered a 51-50 victory over Mount Miguel in another league game, was on the floor because starter Richard Baumann, an all-Metro guard in 1957-58, was out for the season with an injury sustained in a wood shop class.

Magee wrote that the second half was played to the “accompaniment of near pandemonium.”

Perhaps because of the din inside the municipal facility, the Spartans attempted only seven second-half field goals and made five. They were 17×31, 55 per cent for a game. Sweetwater, led by Milton Horton’s 15 points, made 16×45 for 36 per cent.

(*Pearl White was a silent films actress and starred in “The Perils of Pauline”).

Halterman hooked opponents with his favorite shot.


Grossmont coach Locke Olson declared his 6-foot, 5-inch center and hook shot specialist Jerry Halterman “the best college prospect in the area.”

Halterman scored 33 points in a 51-41 loss to Hoover, 33 in a double-overtime, 53-51 defeat by Sweetwater, 35 against the Cardinals in a 66-57 Kiwanis Tournament setback, and 35 in another game against Chula Vista.  Halterman was the County’s leading scorer with  587 points in 23 games and averaged 25.5.

Southern Prep League statistics were not available, but Army-Navy Coach Richard Gronquist reported that star Jack McAboy averaged 21.5 points.


Lincoln had lost five out of six to Hoover, including by scores of 51-50, 48-47 in overtime, and 42-41 (after leading by 11 points at the start of the fourth quarter), and 53-50, this season.  The latter was for third place in the Kiwanis.

The Hornets took out their frustration in the second round of City Prep League play, running the minus-two-starters Hoover off its home court, shooting 59 per cent and winning, 69-47.

The victory, combined with San Diego’s forfeits, allowed Lincoln to tie the Cardinals, each with a 13-3 record, and claim a tie for their first title.  Lincoln, however, couldn’t get past San Diego, losing twice with leads late in the fourth quarter,

Unsung, young (just turned 17) senior Forrest (Big Child) Glitherow, a nonletterman transfer from Mission Bay, scored 21 points and had 18 rebounds and Lincoln led the Cavers, 57-49 with 4:30 remaining.  San Diego scored 12 of the last 13 points and blanked the Hornets for the last 3:48 and won, 61-58.

The rematch, an all-time thriller on the Cavers’ floor,  saw Lincoln, shooting 56 per cent, take a 70-69 on Russ Cravens’ basket and free throw with 1:29 remaining.

Hornet Pete Colonelli missed a medium-range jumper with 30 seconds left.  As Colonelli shot, San Diego’s Hambone Williams, who scored 24 points, sneaked behind the Hornets, took a half-court pass and scored for a 71-70 victory.

After the game, Williams suggested that writer Paul Cour “Tell ‘em Hambone did it!”

The headless Hornet is Kern Carson, looking to throw outlet pass while being guarded by Hoover’s Mike Duensing in Lincoln’s 69-47 victory.


The Highlanders must have been in the twilight zone, coincidentally a television show of the same name that was making its network debut in 1959.  First guard Wally Hartwell and then center Don Weist attempted field goals…at the Chula Vista basket.

Weist’s shot, during a scramble under the backboard, went in.  The wrong-way hoop didn’t have an effect on the game.  Chula Vista won, 47-37.


Had Coach Dick Otterstad not emptied his bench and played everyone, San Diego High might have scored 125 points against hapless Crawford.  Instead the Hilltoppers set a school-record point total in a 96-37 win that was shared by 10 players.

Arthur (Hambone) Williams led the Cavers with 23 points.  Others contributing were Ezell Singleton (15), Ben Pargo (11), Richard Flanery (10), Ernest (Moe) Watson (10), Alan Zukor (6), Willie Bolton (2), and Jack Henn and Morris Russ, 2 each.


Hoover topped Chula Vista, 56-46, and then was beaten at Compton, 86-47. Compton reached the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Glendale, 69-46.  Centennial, which beat Lincoln, 50-48, also reached the semifinals, losing to Fullerton, 47-46, and then defeated Compton in the third place game, 46-44.

Fullerton eliminated Sweetwater, 69-49, and lost in the championship to Glendale, 59-49.  Army-Navy of the Southern Prep League lost at Big Bear City Big Bear, 48-42, despite 22 points by Jack McAboy. First-year Clairemont, 6-6 in nonleague play, defeated Mar Vista, 46-39, but lost to Buena Park, 57-34.

Ramna won its first-round game in the 1-A playoffs for smallest schools, defeating Cerritos Valley Christian, 52-39, before losing to Oxnard Santa Cara, which topped Trona, 44-27, for the championship.


Unhappy with the way things were going, someone at Kearny High hung coach Jim Sams in effigy in the school gymnasium…Sams, 20-34 in two seasons, exited at the end of the school year and moved to Crawford…Few teams have shot with such accuracy as Sweetwater, which converted 30 of 43 shots from the field for 70 per cent and made 15 of 17 free throw attempts in a 75-64 win over Escondido…Hoover outscored San Diego, 26-8, from the free throw line but the Cavers had a 58-36 advantage from the field in a 66-62 victory in the first round of City Prep League play…the Cardinals were 26×32 for 81 per cent from the stripe, while San Diego was 8×15 for 53 per cent…the Cavemen repeated, 60-52, in the second round…Lincoln set a school scoring record in a 81-32 victory over La Jolla, breaking the record set earlier in the season in a 71-41 win over Coronado…not to be outdone, Hoover bettered its record in a  89-48 win over St. Augustine…Point Loma, 0-5 in nonleague games and only 10-11 overall, took San Diego to the wire…Otha Phillips’ basket with :15 remaining got the Cavers past the Pointers, 39-38…a basket and free throw by Phillips and Ezell Singleton’s late set shot allowed the Cavers to edge St. Augustine, 51-49, after they trailed, 49-46, with two minutes to play…the Cavers won an earlier meeting with the 10-12 Saints, 69-18…Glendale schools came South in a break from tradition to play San Diego and Hoover…Glendale High defeated San Diego, 63-51, and Hoover, 61-59…Glendale Hoover topped Hoover, 56-53, but lost to San Diego, 51-46…the San Diego schools had made the trip North for years to play various Los Angeles-area schools…the city exercised its annual December dominance over County teams, San Diego defeating Helix, 59-49, and Hoover topping Grossmont, 61-50, at Grossmont…the Cavers nudged Grossmont, 59-46, and Hoover beat Helix, 51-41 the next night…Grossmont lost six Metropolitan League games by a total of 18 points, including two in overtime to Sweetwater, 53-51, and 40-39, and one to Escondido, 64-56…San Diego led Long Beach Poly, 52-45, entering the fourth quarter but lost, 70-60…the Cavers could not complain about being the visiting team and getting the shaft from game officials…host Poly was whistled for 21 fouls, the Cavers 11….


2017-18 Week 9: No Movement at Top

Rick : February 6, 2018 3:33 pm : Football

Static are the San Diego Section ratings.

There was no change this week through the first six places.  La Jolla Country Day moved from eighth to seventh after St. Augustine dropped a 74-56 decision to Chicago Whitney Young. The Saints now are eighth.

Mount Miguel crashed the top 10 with a 22-4 record and an average of 73.6 points a game, the most for the Matadors since the 1967-68 team averaged 85.1.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Torrey Pines picked up a voting point for a total of 113, while No. 1 Foothills Christian remained at 115.  Foothills earned seven first-place votes, Torrey 5.

Foothills may feel the wind of the Falcons’  wings, but the Knights are forcing the race.  They were 10-0 in January as Taeshon Cherry, coming on after a a couple early false starts, averaged 25.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in the month.

Torrey Pines wasn’t so bad its ownself, plowing an 8-0 record in January.


West Hills’ Cameron Barry continues to lead California scorers with 693 points in 21 games, a 33.0 average, five points more than Jaime Jacquez of Camarillo, who has a 32.8 average for 21 games.

Barry is 13th in the country.  Qwan Jackson,  a 5-foot, 8-inch sophomore guard at Milwaukee Conservatory of Lifelong Learning is No. 1 with a 45.5 average for 12 games.

Bonita Vista’s Shayla Latone is second in the U.S. with a 37.6 average on 960 points in 25 games and is the state leader. Most impressive, Latone was in Charde Houston territory, setting a section record of 76 points in a 99-26 rout of Hilltop on Jan. 19.

Houston, whio starred at San Diego High, waas on national championship teams at Connecticut, and played in the Women’s NBA, scored 71 points in 2002 vs. Caastle Park.


The respected newsletter placed Foothills Christian ninth this week, a step higher than last week, and Mission Bay moved from 13th to 12th.  Torrey Pines and San Marcos remained on the bubble.

Girls’ ratings will be available later.

Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Monday, Feb. 5:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 Foothills Christian (7) 21-5 115 1
2 Torrey Pines (5) 23-2 113 2
3 Mission Bay 21-4 96 3
4 San Marcos 20-2 85 4
5 Vista 19-6 71 5
6 Mater Dei 19-6 62 6
7 La Jolla Country Day 17-7 42 8
8 St. Augustine 13-6 32 7
9 Montgomery 20-4 29 9
10 Mount Miguel 22-4 13 NR

NR–Not ranked.

Others receiving votes: Canyon Crest (15-8, 2 points),  Heix (16-8, 1),  Francis Parker (9-9, 1).

Poll participants:  John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, freelancer; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions;  Adam Paul,  Ramon Scott,; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Rick Smith,; Bodie DeSilva,; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9 FM; Christian Pedersen, S.D. Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, Fulltime Hoops; Brad Enright, L.A. Court Report.

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2017-18 Week 6: Buck Stops With Bucs

Rick : January 10, 2018 9:38 am : Football

Mission Bay has not been a “brand” name in San Diego Section basketball, but the Buccaneers continue to hold sway in the Union-Tribune weekly poll.  They’re now 15-3 after Tuesday night’s 71-63 victory over Patrick Henry.

The Bucs have beaten so-called brands No. 3 Foothills Christian and No. 8 St. Augustine and lost to No. 5 La Jolla Country Day.

It’s been that kind of year.  A dominant team has not surfaced.

The West Hills Wolfpack don’t travel in the above circles, but Cam Barry, a 6-foot, 1-inch senior guard is developing his own brand.  Barry is the state leader with a 36.6 scoring average through 10 reported games and ranks fifth in the country, according to Max Preps.

Foothills’ ballyhooed Taeshon Cherry  is one of the San Diego Section leaders with a 20.6 average in 10 reported games.  Max Preps did not have any stats for Mission Bay’s catalyst, Rejean (Boogie) Ellis, whom the school listed as 7-foot, 2-inch point guard, along with several other “seven-footers”.

Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Monday, Jan. 8:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 Mission Bay (8) 14-3 115 3
2 Torrey Pines (3) 14-2 106 1
3 Foothills Christian (1) 12-5 100 3
4 Vista 12-5 83 5
5 La Jolla Country Day 13-4 65 7
6 San Marcos 12-2 64 6
7 Mater Dei 11-5 46 8
8 St. Augustine 7-4 40 4
9 Montgomery 13-3 19 9
10 Canyon Crest 10-5 12 10

NR–Not rated.

Others receiving votes: Poway (10-5, 7 points), Helix (11-8, 3).

Poll participants:  John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, freelancer; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions;  Adam Paul,  Ramon Scott,; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Rick Smith,; Bodie DeSilva,; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9 FM; Christian Pedersen, S.D. Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, Fulltime Hoops; Brad Enright, L.A. Court Report.

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2017-18 Weeks 1-5: It’s Been a Wild Ride

Rick : January 2, 2018 2:44 pm : Football

Like the automobiles that are continually jarred by San Diego’s city streets, the supposed top teams in the San Diego Section negotiated a December full of potholes.

Which is the best, as the season enters  league play and the weekend shootouts or the so-called”classics”?

I cast my vote for Torrey Pines, followed by Mission Bay, Foothills Christian, St. Augustine, La Jolla Country Day, Vista, Mater Dei, Montgomery, Santa Fe Christian, and San Marcos.

Don’t press me.  I can’t really explain why.

There were so many surprising results, some in the stunning category. Perhaps it was the grind of the four-day Torrey Pines Holiday Tournament, one of the country’s premier events, or coaches just trying to find the right combinations and still evaluating personnel.

–But Torrey, 10-0 and an early championship favorite, fell behind by 15 points and was beaten in the Falcons’ annual Holiday Classic, 69-68, by St. Augustine, despite the Saints featuring an all-underclass lineup and missing two expected starters who transferred.

–St. Augustine followed its inspired win over Torrey Pines with a 78-52 loss to state-ranked Los Angeles Fairfax, which was beaten by Foothills Christian.

–Mission Bay beat Foothills Christian, 72-56, but lost to La Jolla Country Day, 62-50.

–Foothills Christian not only lost to Mission Bay, but also to 7-7 Westview, 73-71, in overtime and then beat two Los Angeles City Section powers, Westchester, 73-49, and Fairfax, 74-73.

There were at least a dozen other which beat which’s followed by losses to who beat who’s.

Mission Bay (12-3) is Cal-Hi Sports‘ No. 12 team in the state and Foothills is 14th.  Torrey Pines surprisingly was not even at least on the newsletter’s “bubble” .

Union-Tribune Boys’ poll through Tuesday, Jan. 2:

Rank Team Record Points Last Poll
1 Mission Bay (6) 12-3 109 3
2 Torrey Pines (4) 13-2 100 1
3 Foothills Christian (1) 9-5 95 4
4 St. Augustine (1) 7-2 88 5
5 Vista 10-5 78 2
6 San Marcos 12-2 60 7
7 La Jolla Country Day 11-4 49 8
8 Mater Dei 11-5 46 6
9 Montgomery 11-3 14 NR
10 Canyon Crest 9-5 8 NR

NR–Not rated.

Others receiving votes: Poway (9-5, 5 points), Rancho Bernardo (6-4, 4), Santa Fe Christian (8-5, 3), Mount Miguel (14-2, 2), Helix (8-6, 1), Westview (8-7, 1).

Poll participants:  John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, freelancer; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions;  Adam Paul,  Ramon Scott,; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Rick Smith,; Bodie DeSilva,; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9 FM; Christian Pedersen, S.D. Preps Insider; Aaron Burgin, Fulltime Hoops; Brad Enright, L.A. Court Report.

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2017 Week 18: Helix 10th; Desert Runner Leads Scorers

Rick : December 26, 2017 1:44 pm : Football

A nagging, Week 2 loss to Lancaster Paraclete that Helix appeared to overcome reared up again after the Highlanders were beaten by Folsom, 49-42, in the state 1-AA championship.

Helix, seventh in the state going into the game as selected by Cal-Hi Sports, dropped to a final ranking of 10th.   Helix might have finished eighth or ninth, but the loss to Folsom, combined with Harbor City Narbonne’s stunning, 50-13 win over Paraclete, sealed the Highlanders at 10th.  Narbonne was ninth and Long Beach Poly eighth.

Mission Hills is 12th in Cal-Hi’s final rating and Torrey Pines, which came close in Avocado League battles with Mission Hills, crashed the top 50 at 49th.  San Marcos was 54th and Ramona and Steele Canyon earned honorable mention.


Tyler Saikhon of El Centro Southwest led all San Diego Section scorers with 234 points after finishing second in 2016 with 188.

Saikhon is the third Valley runner to outscore all others, joining Brawley’s Zay Shepard, who had 192 points in 2003 and 276 in ’04, and Imperial’s Royce Freeman, whose three-peat probably never will be surpassed.

Freeman had 240 in 2011, 216 in ’12, and 258 in ’13 before embarking on a collegiate career at Oregon that will likely conclude with his selection in the 2018 NFL draft.

Scoring totals are not always accurate or are incomplete, because they often are impossible to find in newspapers or are unreported.  Max Preps, from which the below totals come, tries to keep score.

Name Team Gms TD PAT 2PAT FG Pts
Tyler Saikhon El Centro Southwest 14 38 0 3 0 234
Dorian Richardson Rancho Buena Vista 12 26 0 0 0 156
Kenyon Sims Lincoln 12 24 0 4 0 152
Daniel Esguerra Calvin Christian 8 11 15 47 4 3 151
Jacob Siegfried Granite Hills 13 25 0 0 0 150
Mozes Mooney The Bishop’s 10 22 0 8 0 148
Casey Granfors University City 11 22 0 0 0 132
Marcel Patterson University City 11 22 0 0 0 132
Shevell Sterling Grossmont 11 21 0 0 0 126
Juan Pablo Ruiz Calexico Vincent Memorial 14 21 0 0 0 126
Devon Jones Kearny 12 20 0 1 0 122
Michael Moreno Brawley 10 20 0 0 0 120
Deandre Daniels St. Augustine 9 20 0 0 0 120
Ty Jones Salton City West Shores 8 19 0 1 0 118
Branton Bell Kearny 12 18 0 4 0 116
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2017 Week 17: Cougars Were Steeled in Stretch Run.

Rick : December 23, 2017 1:18 pm : Football

Steele Canyon’s winning the State Division 3-A championships was comparative to an NFL team sneaking into the playoffs as a wild card and taking home the Super Bowl trophy.

The Cougars of Coach Scott Longerbone were 4-4 at midseason, got into the San Diego Section playoffs as a No. 7 seed, won 4 games in San Diego, and went on to the state championship with a 44-42 victory over Central Coast champion Half Moon Bay, which had won 14 in a row.

Steele Canyon (12-4) tied La Jolla Country Day’s 2016 state finalist and several others for the most games played by a California high school.

Sixteen games! It’s what they play in the big league.

San Diego Section teams won 2 of 5 state finals in 2016 and 1 of 5 this year.  But the section was more competitive this season, no blowout losses compared to 2016, when The Bishop’s was beaten by Oakdale, 47-0, and Horizon was taken down by Strathmore, 62-22.

The most decisive score differential in 2017 was Calexico Vincent Memorial’s 38-20 loss to San Francisco Galileo.

The most recent CIF state format was adapted in 2015.  San Diego Section teams are 5-8 in that period and 9-13 since state playoffs were reinstated in 2007.

2007 II Oceanside 28-14 *Novato
2008 III Cathedral 37-34 *Stockton St. Mary’s
2009 V Francis Parker 40-44 *Modesto Christian
2010 IV Madison 14-30 *Escalon
2011 II Helix 35-24 *Loomis Del Oro
2012 IV Madison 38-35 *^Marin Catholic
V Santa Fe Christian 7-66 *Modesto Central Catholic
2014 I Oceanside 7-68 *Folsom
III El Capitan 28-35 *^Moraga Campolindo
2015 III-A Rancho Bernardo 35-14 ^*Atherton Sacred Heart
IV-AA Bonita Vista 21-33 **Hanford
V-AA Mater Dei 55-21 **Reedley Immanuel
VI-AA Coronado 6-16 *East Nicolaus
2016 I-AA Cathedral 38-31 *Stockton St. Mary’s
II-AA Madison 21-17 ^*San Jose Valley Christian
III The Bishop’s 0-47 *Oakdale
V-A La Jolla Country Day 17-20 #*Oakland McClymonds
VI-A Horizon 22-62 **Strathmore
2017 I-AA Helix 42-49 *Folsom
III-A Steele Canyon 44-42 ^*Half Moon Bay
IV-AA El Centro Southwest 41-45 ^*Milpitas
VI-A Calexico Vincent Memorial 20-38 *#San Francisco Galileo



*Sac-Joaquin.  *^North Coast. ^*Central Coast. #*Oakland. **Central. *#San Francisco.


The Los Angeles Rams’ Jarrod Goff is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL but five years ago, Goff’s Marin Catholic team from the North Coast Section was  a 38-35 loser to Madison in the state D-IV championship…San Francisco Galileo, conqueror of Calexico Vincent Memorial in VI-A, is the alma-mater of many Italian-American baseball players  of generations past and of  prominent people in business and the arts but probably is best known as the school from which O.J. Simpson graduated and the school that baseball immortal Joe DiMaggio did not attend…DiMaggio never went to high school…San Diego State came hard at the last minute and received a commitment from Helix quarterback Carson Baker, who originally had  chosen California-Davis….Baker completed 19 of 31 passes for three touchdowons and ran for another as Helix battled Folsom throughout before losing, 49-42…Highlanders sophomore Elejon Noa rushed for 1,013 yards in five playoff games…Galileo scored touchdowns on three of its first five snaps in the third quarter after trailing, 14-8, at halftime…Cameron Junger passed for five touchdowsn and rallied El Centro Southwest from a 34-14 deficit early in the third quarter but Milpitas scored the winning touchdown with 2:37 remaining in the game…Steele Canyon withstood a Half Moon Bay rally after the school on Highway 94 led, 34-15, in the third quarter…the championship was a breakthrough for Coach Scott Longerbone’s program…the Cougars had not moved beyond the San Diego Section semifinals in seven previous tries….



2017: Hamamoto, Hauser, Jackson Jump 3 Places

Rick : December 18, 2017 7:15 pm : Football

Three coaches each moved up three spots in the annual review of those with at least 100 victories in their careers in this area or in the San Diego Section.

Monte Vista’s Ron Hamamoto now has 218 victories and is fifth all-time behind Herb Meyer (339), John Carroll (248), Bennie Edens (239) and John Shacklett (229).

Hamamoto started the season eighth.  Mission Hills’ Chris Hauser, with 154 victories, climbed from 19th to 16th and Madison’s Rick Jackson, with 128 wins, moved from 32nd to 29th.

Jackson, whose overall record is 128-39-1, has the best active won-loss percentage, .765, and will enter the 2018 season as the Section all-time leader among coaches of least 100 victories.

Carroll is second in won-loss percentage at .763. Kearny’s Birt Slater  next at .753, followed by Chula Vista’s George Ohnessorgen (.745), and Eastlake’s John McFadden (.735).

Several mentors, if they return next year, are not so far from 100 that they couldn’t make the jump in one season.

Olympian’s Paul Van Nostrand has 94 victories, Grossmont’s Tom Karlo, 91, Ramona’s Damon Baldwin, 90, and St. Augustine’s Richard Sanchez, 89.

Chula Vista’s Chet DeVore, who coached from 1951-55, was 44-7-1 and has the highest percentage (.856) among coaches of at least 50 games.  San Diego’s Duane Maley, 1947-59, was 97-19.3 (.828).  Hobbs Adams of San Diego, 1929-34, was 41-11-2 (.772), and Amos Schaefer of Coronado, 1926-35, was 55-25-5 (.676).

John Perry was 53-15-5 (.760) from 1920-27 at San Diego and 40-34-6 (.538) from 1930-39 at Hoover for an overall 93-49-11 (.644).

Mira Mesa will have its third coach in the school’s 41-year history.  Gary Blevins (145-117-4, .552) announced his retirement.  Blevins succeeded Brad Griffith, who started the program in 1977 and was 112-82-3, .576 when he retired after the 1994 season.

For a complete list of 100-game winners, go to the “Football” menu on the home page and drag to “Coach 100 Club”.

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2017 Week 16: Helix Faces Hostile Environment on Neutral Field

Rick : December 13, 2017 9:53 am : Football

The San Diego Section has four chances to win at least one of the six state championships this week.  Last year the Section was 2-3, with victories by Cathedral in Division I-AA and Madison in D-3.

Most of this week’s games appear tossups, but no team has a challenge like that facing the Helix Highlanders, who will be a decidedly visiting team at  Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State campus.

Helix’ opponent is the Sac-Joaquin Section’s 15-0 Folsom, painfully remembered as the team that clobbered Oceanside, 68-7, in Pirates coach John Carroll’s final game in 2014.

Sacramento is the hub of the Sac-Joaquin Section and Folsom, for which Johnny Cash brought some notoriety when he wrote “Folsom Prison Blues” in 1957, is its heartbeat, about 17 miles and 20 minutes from Hornet Stadium.

The Bulldogs were 16-0 in 2014, 14-1 in 2015, and 12-2 in 2016.

The Highlanders had success against another tough team from that area, defeating Loomis Del Oro, 35-24, for the Division II championship in 2011, but that game was played at the Carson Stub Hub in Southern California.

Cathedral topped Stockton St. Mary’s of the Sac-Joaquin Section, 38-31, for the 1-AA championship in 2016.  That game also could have been considered a home engagement for St. Mary’s, which is located about 45 miles from Hornet Stadium.

As a prognosticator, I’ve been a shade above average, nothing to brag about.  I’m 13-9 in the last three weeks, falling from 8-3 in Week 12 to 2-3 and 3-3. Here’s another shot trying to pick the winners:


The moons seemed to be aligned for Folsom, realistically the home team at this “neutral” facility.  The Bulldogs have scored 721 points and average 48 points a game.  No team has come closer than Carmichael Jesuit, which bowed, 27-14, in the Sac-Joaquin playoffs.

Helix’ outstanding defenders Isaac Stuart-Taylor and Rashad Scott will be tested by Folsom wide outs Elijah Badger and Joe Ngata. Joe and his brother Daniyel combined for five touchdowns last week in the Bulldogs’ 54-35 win over 12-2 Fresno Central.

Helix, 13-1 after an opening loss to Paraclete, was tough and resourceful last week, hiking 165 miles through the Los Angeles and Ventura County fire areas, overcoming an early deficit, and walking away from Cal-Hi Sports’ No. 8 team, Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 28-13.

Scott’s 27-yard touchdown interception return put the Highlanders ahead for good, 14-13.

The win elevated Helix from 13th to seventh in Cal-His top 50.  Folsom now stands fifth.

The Pick: Folsom 28, Helix 21, @Sacramento State.


Rancho San Diego and areas around Mt. San Miguel are agog.  The Cougars’ game with Half Moon Bay has been moved from Steele Canyon (11-4) to Southwestern College in response to an anticipated crowd that would swamp Steele facilities.

Steele, under Coach Scott Longerbone, has come all the way from being a No. 7 seed in the San Diego Section playoffs to knock off unbeaten Ramona in the San Diego finale and top Orange El Modena last week.  Those wins came after blowout losses to Helix and Grossmont in the middle of the season.

Half Moon Bay (14-0), from the Central Coast Section, overlooks the Pacific and sits 57 miles South of San Francisco on Highway 1.  The also-named Cougars (14-0) represent one of the oldest schools in the area, opening in 1909, and are members of the Peninsula Bay League.

The Central Coast is not regarded as one of the upper-echelon sections in California football, although the West Catholic League of San Mateo Serra, San Jose Village Christian, Mountain View St. Francis, and San Jose Bellarmine have solid, state-wide reputations.

The Half Moon Cougars received a 46.0 scorefrom Cal, while the Steele Cougars’ score is 42.8.

The Pick:  Steele Canyon 24, Half Moon Bay 20, @Southwestern College.


The Pick:  Milpitas 31, @El Centro Southwest 35.


The Pick:  San Francisco Galileo 30, @Calexico Vincent Memorial 45.


Folsom’s score is 73.6 to Helix’ 67.5……Helix’ Cal score dipped from 68.4 after Paraclete was shocked by Harbor City Narbonne, 50-14…San Diego teams came close to sweeping all six Southern California playoff games last week…Monte Vista was edged by Anaheim Katella, 36-35, after leading, 35-7, and El Camino was upset by Los Angeles Crenshaw, 13-10…Cathedral lost to Loomis Del Oro of the Sierra Foothill League, 22-12, in the season opener…Del Oro, 8-6 overall, was on the short end of a 54-10 score against Folsom…the Folsom state prison is 3.3 miles from the high school campus, opened in 1880, and was the first California lockup to have electricity…Milpitas (12-2) won its Northern championship, 52-38, over Moraga Campolindo, the team that overcame a three-touchdown deficit in the final seven minutes  to top El Capitan, 35-28, in the state final in 2014…Milpitas has a 38.7 Cal score to 14-0 El Centro Southwest’s 38.2…San  Francisco Galileo (10-2) is the alma mater of O.J. Simpson…the Imperial Valley is hosting two championship games within five miles…El Centro Southwest is at home and Calexico Vincent Memorial (12-2) is playing at Calexico High….

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2017: Week 15: Helix Game Site in Question

Rick : December 6, 2017 1:37 pm : Football

Note:  Westlake Village Oaks Christian closed school today because of smoke and ash from the nearby wildfires. Helix is scheduled to play there Friday night, Dec. 7.

The field at Southwestern  faces south to North but the football moved east.

Helix, Steele Canyon, and Monte Vista, from the two Grossmont leagues in the foothills of San Diego County, won championships and El Centro Southwest and Calexico Vincent Memorial from the Far East in Imperial Valley also took home hardware.

El Camino, from the oft-ballyhooed Avocado League, provided a break in the trend.

All five division winners will move on to the Southern California championship “bowl series” games this week, prelude to the state championships Dec. 15-16.  Five qualifiers from Open through D-1A will play at Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State campus.

The winner between Helix and Westlake Village Oaks Christian will go to Sacto for a game on Dec. 15.  Other division winners will compete Dec. 16 at sites to be determined.

The five other San Diego Section champions have been slotted in D-3A through D-6AA.


Placed in the highest alignment behind the Open Division, which will be settled by Santa Ana Mater Dei and Concord De La Salle on Dec. 16, Helix (12-1) is presented with another daunting challenge on the road, 165 miles away, unless evacuations and continual fire danger force a change of venue.

The Highlanders led favored Mission Viejo, 28-25, with two minutes remaining and had the ball, but a fumble recovered by the Diablos in Helix territory led to a 32-28 Mission Viejo victory in 2015.  The Orange County team went on to defeat San Jose Bellarmine, 24-0, and wrap a 16-0 season.

Oaks Christian is 12-2 and winner of its last nine after an uneven start in which the Lions lost their opener to West Hills Chaminade, 47-10, and a game 5, 38-20 decision to Murrieta Valley.  They’ve outscored their opponents by an average score of 36-11 since and are No. 8 in Cal-Hi Sports’ Top 50.

Helix, which jumped from 20th to Cal-HI’s 13th this week, has solid quarterbacking in Carson Baker and can pound the ball with sophomore running back Elelyon Noa. The Scots will face the exponential need to protect the ball and play their game in what would be a hostile setting, much like 2015.

Their Cal-Hi rankings fairly close, both teams are closer in the analytics department.  Oaks has a computer score of 66.5, according to Cal, Helix 65.5.

A nagging, Week 2 loss of 23-6 to Lancaster Paraclete, which lost to Oaks Christian, 30-21, seems to have cost Helix more in the ratings.

The Pick:  Helix 34, @Oaks Christian 28.

Winner meets Northern champion Fresno Central or Folsom.


Steele Canyon (10-4), the seventh seed in the San Diego Section Open Division, won its last six after blowout losses of 41-7 to helix and 51-14 to Grossmont, and knocked off top seed Ramona, 33-29, in the finals.  Orange El Modena (12-2) played in a softer North Hills League of Orange County.  Steele has a 41.4 Cal-Preps score, El Modena 40.

The Pick:  Steele Canyon 24, @El Modena 20.

Winner meets Northern champion Sutter or Half Moon Bay.


El Camino (8-5) overcame the loss of suspended coach Jerry Ralph, who had put the Wildcats in position for a run this season, and rallied behind Mike Hobbs, the former El Centro Central mentor, with strong play through the playoffs.  Crenshaw, a member of the weak Los Angeles Coliseum League, was beaten by Harbor City Narbonne, 48-7, in the L.A. City finals.

The Pick: @El Camino, 35, Crenshaw 21.

Winner meets Northern champion Placer or Salinas.


El Centro Southwest (13-0) won its first championship since joining the San Diego Section in 2000 and was one of the three unbeaten finalists to survive last weekend at Southwestern (Ramona and San Diego, the two others, each went down).

San Joaquin Memorial (11-2) lost to Fresno Edison and Fresno Bullard, which finished a combined 13-12,  in league play but got hot with four playoff wins and will have to overcome an expected seven-hour trip of 430 miles down U.S. 99, through Los Angeles, east to Palm Springs and South to the Imperial County.

The Pick:  San Joaquin Memorial 30, @El Centro Southwest 27.

Winner meets Northern champion Milpitas or Moraga Campolindo.


Monte Vista (8-5) and coming hard, will play at an interesting venue, Anaheim’s Western High, better known as the alma-mater of Tiger Woods.  Coach Ron Hamamoto, with 218 career victories, will send big running back Jahmon McClendon against Anaheim Katella (12-1).

The Pick:  Katella 41, Monte Vista 28.

Winner meets Northern champion Oakland McClymonds or East Nicolaus.


Huntington Park (11-3) won the Los Angeles City Section after finishing third in the Eastern League.  Calexico Vincent Memorial (11-2) will be at home at nearby Calexico High.

The Pick:  Huntington Park, 27, Calexico Vincent Memorial 20.

Winner meets Northern champion San Francisco Gallileo or Rio Vista.


The dream season of San Diego High ended with a 71-48 loss in D-IV to Monte Vista..Monte Vista coach Ron Hamamoto, believe it or not,  coached a 71-48 Rancho Bernardo victory over West Hills in a 1999 playoff…the Monarchs’ Jahmon McClendon, a tall, upright runner in the mold of pro football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, wore down the Cavers with 8 touchdowns…San Diego, which led, 22-21, in the second quarter, finished with a 12-1 record and tied the 1916 Hilltoppers team for most wins…Helix’ 26-19 victory over Mission Hills attracted a standing-room crowd of 9,304 to Southwestern College, not an easy place to get to on a Friday orSaturday night, but the best locale in the area, by far…Helix thus earned the No. 1 ranking in the final Union-Tribune poll….

Rank Team 2017 Points Week 11
1. Helix (28) 12-1 280 2
2. Mission Hills 12-1 251 1
3. San Marcos 9-3 174 5
4. Torrey Pines 7-5 173 9
5. El Camino 8-5 157 NR
6. Steele Canyon 10-4 129 NR
7. Ramona 12-1 104 3
8. Madison 8-3 86 8
9. El Centro Southwest 13-0 47 NR
10. Eastlake 10-3 42 NR

Points awarded on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

NR: Not Ranked.

Others receiving votes:  La Costa Canyon (7-4, 39 points),  St. Augustine (7-4, 23), Monte Vista (8-5, 10),  The Bishop’s (9-1, 8), Oceanside (6-7,  4), Grossmont (7-4, 3).

Voters (28 sportswriters, sportscasters, officials): John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune; Terry Monahan, Don Norcross, Tom Saxe, Rick Hoff, Jim Lindren, Union-Tribune correspondents; Paul Rudy, Brandon Stone, Rick Willis, KUSI Chl. 51; Adam Paul, East County; Ramon Scott, East County; Bodie DeSilva, San Diego; Ted Mendenhall, Taylor Quellman, The Mighty 1090; Steve Brand, San Diego Hall of Champions; Troy Hirsch, Fox 5 San Diego; Rick Smith,; Jerry Schniepp, John LaBeta, Carlton Hoggard, CIF San Diego; Raymond Brown,; Montell Allen, MBASports-SDFNL Magazine; Bob Petinak,  1360AM; John Kentera, Prep Talent Evaluator; Steve (Biff) Dolan, Mountain Country 107.9FM; Jim Arnaiz, Mike Dolan, John Carroll, CIF Football Tournament Directors.

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40 Responses to Football Blog

  1. Dale henry says:

    Finally good writing about our preps again! Along the lines of Canepa, Schofield, Maffei Et. Al. Nice work Rick
    Coach Henry

    • Rick says:

      I started as a prep writer on the Tribune, before Nick even was a copy boy, many, many years sgo. Thanks for writing, Coach.

  2. Billy Ervin says:

    Nothing about that 1979 Morse High Tigers break away backfield QB Keith Magee.
    RB Dino Babers, RB Billy Ervin, FB mark Kennedy, who made the Tribune athlete
    of the week……1978* 79 Tigers finished 11-1 and is not recognized……how can I find my

    • Rick says:

      Billy: This is the message I sent to you in March, 2017:

      “I found the athlete-of-the-week article, Billy, and I’m going to put the illustration that went with the article on my blog. I’ll send you a copy of the article I found on the Central Library microfilm. Let me know your address.”

  3. John Carter says:

    I just read about this website from this morning’s paper in Nick’s column, what a great find! I played on Kearny’s 1973 undefeated CIF Champioship team, and our 1973-74 basketball team was undefeated and CIF champions as well. I’ve always wondered if there has ever been a year where both football and basketball teams were undefeated and champions in San Diego County history? Thank you for all your work with high school sports history over the years!

    • Rick says:

      I thanked Nick. And I thank you. I don’t think there have been undefeated football and basketball teams at the same school.
      It’s just too tough a double. Undefeated football teams are more common. I’ll do some research.

  4. Buzz Ponce says:

    Interesting overview on St. Augustine for this upcoming season. Frank Buncom IV, however, is a cornerback, not a linebacker. His grandfather, as I know you are aware, was the original number 55 for the San Diego Chargers and is in the team’s Hall of Fame. Very interestingly, the other iconic number 55 for the Chargers — Junior Seau — has a nephew on St. Augustine’s team that also plays linebacker. Quinn Seau and Buncom IV have roots that parallel the greats in Chargers history. You can read a chapter on Buncom IV and Quinn Seau’s similarities in my book, “Finding Frank: Full Circle in a Life Cut Short.”

    • Rick says:

      I missed on Buncom IV’s position, but I don’t think he’s a cornerback. He’s more of a “monster” in that he’s all over the field, almost a strong safety. I’ve heard of your book. I also interviewed Frank Buncom, Jr., after Chargers games when I was a sports writer at the Evening Tribune. Nice man. Tragic ending.

  5. holly bryant says:

    1978 — Dan Henson was the coach at Christian
    2007 — Grossmont was 2-1 for 2nd place (West Hills was 3-0)

    • Rick says:

      Thank you for the info on Christian’s coach in 1978.. I could not find coaching listings for some schools in late seventies, as the CIF San Diego office does not have directories for those years. I also corrected the Grossmont-West Hills standings. For some reason the 5 teams in the Grossmont North played only three league games instead of four, so there’s no round-robin format.

  6. Absolutely awesome site. I just discovered it by accident right now. Love it. I am 2nd generation born, raised, played and coached in the South Bay of San Diego. I have always loved the CIF-SDS history. I’ll be spending a lot of time (I already have spent a lot) surfing this site.
    Thank you,

    Justin J. Schaeffer
    Resource Teacher
    Head Football Coach
    Murrieta Mesa High School
    (951) 677-0568 ext. 6421

    GO RAMS!!!!!
    Character, integrity and hard work breed opportunity.
    see us at

    • Rick says:

      Thanks for the very kind words, coach, and for subscribing. We have an article going today on three San Diego Section championship games yesterday.

  7. Bob Dexter says:

    I thought it might have been a misprint. Thanks, Rick for checking -still an impressive offensive show by La Jolla.

    • Rick says:

      Impressive indeed, Bob. The 63 points is a La Jolla record for one game, surpassing a romp in which it whacked Kearny, 61-20, in 2002. Last week’s win also ties a 57-0 rout of Coronado in 1990 for largest point differential. Adding to that, back in the heyday of Dan Berry and Butch Taylor the Vikings beat San Dieguito, 57-7 in 1961,. Those are the three highest scores in school history. La Jolla has been punishing U. City for years, including 56-7 in 2012.

  8. Bob Dexter says:

    I saw a score from last Friday. There were no details just the line score. At the end of 3 quarters La Jolla and University City were tied 0-0. The final was La Jolla 63, University City 6. High school quarters I believe are 12 minutes. How did La Jolla score 9 touchdowns in 12 minutes? (9 one play drives?) Does anyone have details on this game?

    • Rick says:

      I wondered about that, too, but a check with Jesse Kearney at UT-San Diego revealed that the actual score by quarters was La Jolla, 19-20-10-14–63 and U. City, 6-0-0-0–6. Sixty-three points in one quarter? That’s 9 touchdowns and 9 PAT attempts and 3 PAT in 12 minutes I suppose anything’s possible. Perhaps it’s happened in 8-man or 6-man. Thanks for writing, Bob.

  9. Jasen Boyens says:

    Orange Glen has gone the way of Sweetwater, Morse, Lincoln; victims of changing demographics over time. For OG it all started to fall apart when Valley Center HS opened, and the Patriots lost all those corn-fed farm boys! So many good players came out of VC, as evidenced by Rob Gilster’s sustained success with the Jaguars. Orange Glen was also victimized by the Escondido School District, whose board members were largely Escondido HS alums – implementation of a free-for-all transfer policy within the district, intended to bolster the Cougars’ fortunes. Despite the courageous Early family’s laudable decision to keep Andy and Austin home at OG, in hopes of bolstering Patriot fortunes, the football program remains decrepit. Dick Disney was a great man whose impact on many lives, including my own, continues through the decades.

    • Rick says:

      Jasen, very interesting comments. You could add several other city schools to that mix. Orange Glen did have it going. I think there have been 3 or 4 NFL players, Salisbury, Lenny McGill, I think, and maybe a couple others.

  10. BoyensJC says:


    Thought you might find this photo [ed: of the OG QB club] interesting;

    We had some pretty good quarterbacks come through Orange Glen for a spell there in the late 70’s through the early 1990’s. Lead by Salisbury, of course, but Doug Disney (and his older brother, Rick), Jon Mitchell, and Cree Morris were all San Diego CIF.

    • Rick says:

      What’s happened with Orange Glen football? Patriots had it going back then. I remember Dick Dinesy as an all-star at Point Loma, then later as an assistant for Chick Embrey at Escondido before he opened O.G. Last I heard Sean Salkisbury was in radio in Chicago. Thanks for writing.

      • Buzz Ponce says:

        Dick Disney also was the first varsity football coach at San Marcos High School when it opened in 1961, following his stint at Escondido HS with Chick Embrey. He was at San Marcos (which was then in the Escondido Union HS District) until Orange Glen launched in 1962-63. He was an incredible coach, and an incredible person. After his retirement at OG, he was elected to the Escondido Union HS District Board of Trustees where he served until his death in 1997.
        RIP, Coach Disney.

      • Rick says:

        I met Disney when he assisted Chick with the 1960 team that won the first San Diego section championship. I always wondered how he got to Escondido, considering he was a big name in high school in the city at Point Loma. thanks for writing, Buzz.

  11. Bob Dexter says:

    Rick, Thank you for the kind comments. Coach Leslie was definitely the right man to get our program going. That 1971 season was a lot of fun!

  12. Bob Dexter says:


    Regarding your article on the best defenses in history, the 1971 Patrick Henry Patriots went 11-1 outscoring the opposition 267-53 an average of 4.4 points. We had 5 shutouts and never allowed more than 8 points in any one game. We lost to Grossmont 8-7 in the championship game but it was a great season.

    I became aware of your great website from Henrik.

    • Rick says:

      Bob: The writer posed a question involving only “championship” teams. I researched from that angle but should have taken it further and included all teams. A one-point loss to Grossmont doesn’t dim the luster of that 1971 Patrick Henry club. Coach Russ Leslie got the new school up and running very quickly. The Patriots reached the San Diego Section finals in their third varsity season and were in the finals three times from 1971-74.

  13. malcolm pusey says:

    Great info. But I would like read tidbits for every season. How about a list of the greatest players (by position), teams and coaches of all time?
    I am just trying to help.

    • Rick says:

      Malcolm, great idea. I have been thinking somewhat along those lines. I guess I would start with Charlie Powell at one of the ends although he played fullback one year at San Diego High. Jack Mashin and Duane Maley would be near the top of my coaches’ list, but I’m first concentrating on the yearly reviews and the yearly scoring leaders. Are you related to Duane Pusey, 13-foot pole vaulter at Grossmont in 1949?

  14. Rick says:

    Mark: I’m not familiar with Jimmy Anderson. Ernie Zampese’s son, Ken, is on the Bengals staff and graduated from University High. I think Dante Scarnecchia played at Cal Western, later USIU.
    I see Lenny arevalo at breakfast every Thursday, so tell me his story and I’ll surprise him. Were you with Shacklett and Mendoza at Morse?

    • Mark Monroe says:

      Len’s story is set in 1973 the first year Jimmy Anderson was hired to teach at Morse and coach the defensive line for Shack. While the two of them were out for a jog around the neighborhood Jim asked Len “where do you see yourself in 10 years” Len replied “here @ Morse, I like what I am doing, why where are you gonna be?” Jim says ” I am going to be coaching in the NFL” and he still is as one of the longest tenured assistant coaches in the NFL. Coach Anderson is the innovative mind behind the warm up Morse would do before and after games known as “Tiger Jays” A tradition that has lasted from 1974 to 2011. Len can tell you the story about Dante. Bob, Len and I recently had lunch with Coach Anderson and Len told that story. Yes I had the pleasure of working with Coach Shack, Mendoza and Arevalo at Morse for 24 years. It was kind of weird working there since I graduated in 1971 and knew them as my idols. Thanks for the reply, Coach Monroe.

  15. Mark Monroe says:

    Wow great job! I worked at Morse for 24 years and have a story Len Arevalo likes to tell about Cincinnati running back coach Jimmy Anderson and New England line coach Dante Scarnecchia. Interested?

  16. Todd Tobias says:

    Great stuff, Rick! I will be reading daily. I bet I’ll find some good crossover stuff for potential AFL stories!

  17. John Walker says:

    Will you be adding a section for All-CIF and All-League players. The reason I’m asking is because I was a 2nd team All Eastern League linebacker for Patrick Henry in 1984 and I lost the newspaper clipping.

    • Rick says:

      John: I’m trying to get these narratives written for each year, plus finding scoring leaders for every year. In time I hope to get to the “all” teams. Thanks for writing.

  18. Albert Oliver says:

    Hi Rick. I played in the 1961 Lincoln/ Saints game losing 13 to 6 to Lincoln.
    Your parents Doug & Jane knew mine Al & Virginia Oliver ( Both Dads in the fishing industry).
    Just wanted to say hi.
    Still live in San Diego..( El Cajon).
    Al Oliver…12/07/2012

    • Rick says:

      Al: Good to hear from you. I see Ron Cota and John Nettles often. I think that was the game in which John made a one-handed catch. Willie Shaw and Vernus Ragsdale combined for about 225 yards rushing in that game.

  19. Richard Houk says:

    Just discovered your wonderful site (thanks to Don Norcross). It is wonderful to see a comprehensive listing of San Diego County’s proud history. I was a part of the 1965 San Dieguito Mustangs and noticed that you may have the wrong score entered for the San Dieguito/Poway game. I believe San Dieguito won, 19-14. It is entered correctly on San Dieguito’s record but not Poway’s. Thank you for putting all of this together!

    • Rick says:

      Richard: The score has been corrected. Game played Sept. 24, 1965. I’ll come up with the scoring summary and send. Thanks for commenting.

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